Small Business Skills Shortage Means Many Jobs Go Unfilled
The Wall Street Journal | July 18, 2014
Growing numbers of small-business owners say unfilled job openings are thwarting their growth at a time of high confidence in the economy.
About 33% of 848 small-business owners and chief executives said they had unfilled job openings in June because they couldn’t identify qualified applicants, up from 31% of 811 owners nearly two years ago, according to surveys by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International, a San Diego peer advisory group for executives. During this period, owners’ confidence in the economy increased.
The tightening of the labor market is one factor, according to economists. The unemployment rate in June was 6.1%, down from 8.2% two years ago. A shortage of workers with the right skills and experience is also a major impediment.
Business owner Jerry Schill receives a phone call almost daily from condo or commercial businesses looking to hire his North Ridgeville, Ohio, landscaping company, but he has to turn nearly all of them away.
With just 106 employees, he has passed on potential clients with multiple locations and other big projects. The problem: He needs five managers to oversee work crews, quality control and safety.